Olive Garden and I have a very fragile relationship.
But I do have to admit, it’s been getting better. There used to be zero dishes I could order straight off the menu (keep in mind I’m nine years post-op folks). Nowadays there are a few, or at least enough that I now have an Olive Garden Eating Guide available.
But lemme tell you how my life is set up. If I find a dish at a place like Olive Garden that I love? I’m never ordering anything else! Nope.
Quiet as it’s kept, I’m sort of a creature of habit. Sure I have plenty of recipes on this site. Notice that I tend to stay within certain realms of ingredients and I tend to expand on certain dishes I love (hence the cabillionty-seven cheesecake inspired recipes on this site!). Especially at Olive Garden, which I don’t frequent, I just don’t see the point of choosing anything else when I know I have a dish that I like and that works for my plan.
Such is the case with their Tilapia Piccata. It’s a delicious, lemony fish with garlic and capers. It comes with Parmesan crusted zucchini planks (or what I’d call “lasagna zoodles“) and…NO NOODLES!
Me and noodles? Not friends. Haven’t been since surgery.
For this recipe, I started with Melissa D’Arabian’s (Food Network…$10 dinners lady…) recipe and went from there.
So here’s the deal with this post. It’s a work in progress. I keep wanting to get process shots for you guys (because I actually make this at least once a month now that I know how) but something always comes up or goes wrong. Sigh.
I’ll be adding process photos later, but for now I need you guys to know a few pivotal things:
- I usually use frozen tilapia filets from Aldi. They are very affordable.
- Capers are usually in whatever aisle olives are in at the supermarket. If all else fails, go to the imported food section but I highly recommend that you do not skip the capers. They sorta make this dish.
- You can use flour or cornstarch for this recipe. It’s to thicken the sauce. If you don’t thicken the sauce, it will be watery. I’ve tested this recipe several times and in this version I use the absolute least amount of flour you can get away with.
- There won’t be tons of sauce. It’s basically just for spooning on top of the fish. Also…you’ll see I didn’t use white wine in my sauce. I instead used Champagne vinegar, which gave it a bit more pop. I compensated with a bit more fat to tone it down. But if you want to use cooking wine, feel free to use the same amount that I used in vinegar and you should be good to go.
- Aaaaaand, as always, no, I’m not giving you the nutrition info. Here’s why.
As for the zucchini…I chose to do rounds and not planks. Mostly because I can do that with a knife instead of having to use a mandolin slicer (or trying to slice planks by hand, which has more than once resulted in injury!) but your mileage may vary. There’s also an little heirloom cherry tomato medley there because I like color on my plate!
My only note on the sides is that I did not deep fry the zucchini. Instead I sprayed a pan generously with nonstick. I also chose to use Egg Beaters instead of eggs for the dredging, mostly because I invested my per-meal fat allowance on the fish because the flavor is enhanced from the fat used. Your mileage may also vary!
Lastly, I just wanted to point out how QUICK this meal is to make. If you thaw our your fish ahead of time, this can be raw-to-table in less than 30 minutes. Which is probably less time than if you’d actually ordered it from Olive Garden and you’re saving a few calories and bunch of money.
Win-win? I say, yes. Now go…make this!